Amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) is a tropical flowering plant native to North and South America. Because amaryllis is easy to grow and flowers readily, it has become a popular indoor plant. Blooming in winter, with tall, showy flowers on 2- to 3-foot stalks, the amaryllis makes a striking accent to the home during an otherwise gloomy time of year. It may take up to five years, however, for the amaryllis bulb grown from seed to grow large enough to flower.
Determine if your amaryllis seeds are viable by holding one between your thumb and forefinger. If you can feel a bump in the seed, that is the embryo and the seed is viable. Discard any seeds without an embryo.
Fill a bowl with distilled water and float the amaryllis seeds on the surface.
Place the bowl in a sunny, warm area. Change the water daily and replace it as it evaporates during the day.
Place moist potting soil in a planting pot. Push the germinated seed 1/2 inch into the soil and place the pot in a warm, sunny area. Keep the soil moist.
Place the amaryllis in an area of the home that receives diffuse sunlight, such as near a curtained window. The ideal temperature is 68 to 70 degrees F, except when the plant is in bloom--then the temperature should remain 65 degrees F.
Water the amaryllis when the top inch of soil is dry. Place the pot in a pan of water (the water should reach halfway up the side of the pot) and remove it from the water when the top of the soil is wet.
Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering. When the stem begins to bend, cut it back to within 2 inches of the bulb. Move the pot to a sunny location. Fertilize the amaryllis every month with a 20-20-20 fertilizer, at the rate listed on the label, and keep the soil moist.
Move the amaryllis outdoors in the spring, water it daily and fertilize it biweekly with a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer. When the leaves begin to turn yellow in the fall, cut them back to the top of the bulb and move the amaryllis indoors, in a shady, cool area (55 degrees F) and do not water. Allow the amaryllis to remain in dormancy for eight weeks and then water the bulb and move the pot back into diffused sunlight.